Indexed REC-18: Who makes up the “project workforce” for the purpose of the MES?

The 2024 Long-Term Plan, as approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission, adopts the following definition of “project workforce”:

Employees, contractors and their employees, and subcontractors and their employees, whose job duties are directly required by or substantially related to the development, construction, and operation of a project that is participating in or intended to participate in the IPA-administered programs and procurements under Section 1-75(c) of the IPA Act. This shall include both project installation workforce and workforce in administrative, sales, marketing, and technical roles where those workers’ duties are performed in Illinois. For purposes of this definition, ‘directly required by or substantially related to’ shall be construed to be any direct employee of the Approved Vendor, Designee, or Indexed REC contract holder, or any contractor and its employees whose contract exceeds 5% of the REC Contract value. Employees of contractors below that threshold may be counted toward the MES on a voluntary basis, but then all contractors below the 5% of REC contract value threshold must be included. (2024 Long-Term Plan at 356-357).

The MES applies to the project workforce, so if the MES is 10%, EEPs must make up 10% of the project workforce. Therefore, compliance with the MES is based on number of workers or employees, not the work hours performed by those employees.